Well here’s something I thought I’d never do, I made my own ironing board cover. I put some fabrics in the machine to wash, but pressed a regular cycle instead of a 30 min quick wash (ballache), so had to fill a bit of time.
I was flicking through an old Sew magazine for a bit of inspo and saw some directions for making a cover, so why not?
Since starting this sewing lark my ironing board has been promoted from it’s usual place in the crap cupboard, and now functions as an extra workspace/occasional table (it’s just such a good height, right?).
It’s pretty disgusting though, covered in weird brown stains, I don’t know if these are scorch marks or just general jubbiness, but I really needed to do something about it.
I’ve pretty much always hated ironing (if you like it, you are weird, I bet you iron your pants too), I hated it even more when I got my Fridja steamer. If you’ve never tried steaming your clothes before, I beg you to do it. Go on, splash out, you won’t regret it, ever.
Instead of getting that board out, waiting for the iron to heat up, pressing in some creases accidentally, burning yourself, and all that faffing about, you just turn it on, wait 30 seconds, and puff-puff-puff all the nastiness from your clothes. Even those things you never wear anymore because you hate ironing. It’s amazing.
Anyway – digression. Here’s my skanky ironing board.
It’s one of those smaller Ikea ones (I know, I wanna get in bed with Ikea, I love it so much), so it doesn’t fit the standard size covers you can buy (I tried).
It’s Ikea Emmie Ross, a pretty heavy cotton, so great for this sort of thing. Plus, it now matches my curtains!
I couldn’t understand all the instructions in the magazine (I need pictures dammit!!), so if you want to have a go at this, here is what I did:
You just need a large piece of heavy-duty cotton fabric to cover your board, something that you can comfortably set the iron on whilst you check your phone, and won’t go up in flames. Most ironing boards have a separate piece of heat resistant foam underneath so you can just go ahead and resuse that. You also need around 3m of string or skinny elastic to tighten it underneath.
- Lay your fabric out flat on the floor, and turn your ironing board upside down on top. Draw around the board, leaving about 10cm seam allowance between the edge of the board and where you’re cutting.
- Turn over 1cm seam allowance, then another 1cm. Stitch in place using a basic straight stitch. It’s tricky on the curves with a thick fabric, but it doesn’t have to be perfect as it’s underneath and you won’t see it.
- Turn over another 3cm and stitch in place over the seam you created in the previous step. This creates the channel for your elastic or string, and gives enough overlap that you can pull it tight over the underside of the board. Leave it open by a few centimetres so that you can thread the elastic through.
- Use a safety pin and guide your elastic through the channel, leaving enough at both ends so that you’ll be able to tie it up.
- Fit the over to the board, and pull on the string/elastic as tight as it will go, making sure to smooth the fabric out as you do so. This should give you a nice tight finish. Tie the loose ends up so that you can easily remove the cover if needed. If you want to be a super swot, you can sew the elastic casing closed (if you’re using elastic – just check you can get it off the board!).
That’s all there is to it, sit back and admire your work. It should be possible to do this in under a half metre of fabric (depending on the size of your board), so it’s pretty cost effective if you need to change it, and it took me around an hour to do this (I do faff about a lot). Hopefully this’ll help you make friends with your ironing board!